(a) to increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical progress and by ensuring the rational development of agricultural production and the optimum utilisation of the factors of production, in particular labour;
(b) thus to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, in particular by increasing the individual earnings of persons engaged in agriculture;
(c) to stabilise markets;
(d) to assure the availability of supplies;
(e) to ensure that supplies reach consumers at reasonable prices.
If action by the Community should prove necessary to attain, in the course of the operation of the common market, one of the objectives of the Community and this Treaty has not provided the necessary powers, the Council shall, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the [European Parliament], take the appropriate measures.
Whereas there is a need for the benefit of Community agriculture for certain nitrogen containing fertilizers and manures to be used; . . . Whereas the use of livestock manures and similar materials should be encouraged, consistently with the protection of the freshwaters of the Community, in order to conserve natural resources.
For most pollution policy in this country, the polluter pays principle applies to any control regime, both for cleaning up damage to the environment, and for measures that satisfy environmental objectives. In the case of nitrate the Government recognizes that the situation is exceptional, and there are special circumstances that do not and cannot apply to other forms of water pollution. Firstly, nitrate is a natural and necessary prerequisite for agriculture, and without it plants cannot grow. Secondly, it has been the policy over many years to encourage agricultural production and with it the use of fertilizers. Thirdly, nitrate leaching is a function of the agricultural process of which fertilizers application is but a part; it may arise from activity some considerable time ago. . . . It is these exceptional circumstances that have led the Government to conclude that some agricultural measures to control nitrate levels in water should attract compensation.